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Chicken Ranch madam dies at 84

March 1, 2012 at 3:57 PM

PHOENIX, March 1 (UPI) -- The last madam of the Chicken Ranch, a famous La Grange, Texas, brothel, died in Phoenix at the age of 84, family members said.

Edna Milton Chadwell died Feb. 25 of complications from injuries she suffered in a car wreck, The Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday.

Chadwell, also known as Miss Edna, joined the staff at Chicken Ranch 1952 when she was 23 and soon moved into a managerial position after owner Miss Jessie Williams' health declined, said Jayme Blaschke, who is writing a book on the history of the brothel.

Chadwell bought the Chicken Ranch in 1961 for $30,000 and closed it in August, 1973, following pressure from then-Gov. Dolph Briscoe.

After the closure, Chadwell moved to Phoenix with her second husband Clayton Chadwell, where she lived until she died, Blaschke said.

The Chicken Ranch inspired a top-selling ZZ Top song called "La Grange," as well as a Broadway musical and later movie both titled "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."

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